I never meant to write this. But now, here I am criticizing Indian basketball.
Don’t we have good players? I say we have. Then what is the reason for our game’s ‘not so-happening’ fame? Well, I don’t have an answer. Even if I had one, who were I to blame anyone. After all, I am only a fifteen-year-old state-level player.
I seldom blame the game or its working or anything akin to it. And I seldom know why I wrote this. Perhaps, of anger. Perhaps, of my so-little experience. Whatever it is, I wrote it. And now, I produce it here. To you.
To start with, let’s first talk about the host teams. They use under the table ways to win. Don’t they? I’m not claiming all of them do. But only those who aren’t self-assured. I guess this doesn’t happen at higher levels, but at the lower ones like district tournaments or inter-schools, they do happen a lot. And players self are never involved in this. It’s always the coaches, the officials, the organizing committee, et cetera, et cetera. My personal experience is of a match at CBSE cluster two years back, where the fourth quarter was prolonged to twenty-four goddamn minutes(!) until the hosts took the lead.
Next we talk about over-aged players. Now this is common. Fake birth certificates, fake school ID cards; aren’t these the usual? All this needs an end. What’s the fun in winning over the younger ones and getting the stage? I remember playing a U-14 state tournament final against a team which had only tall, gigantic players. And guess what? All of them were actually U-17 players (as we found out later).
Then comes the bribing aspect. Ha! The positions of a team are sold. That’s how I describe bribing. A player with so-called good ‘contacts’ is likely to be selected in the squad.
Do the media play a role in this? I accept no as an answer. They run after cricket. Don’t they? Something which gets the most viewers. You turn the pages of a daily newspaper and find that a basketball news item is probably printed only once or twice in a month. I have a friend, a good roller skater, who says that he learned skating only by watching it on television. If it is so, can’t it work here? I don’t mean you can become a national level player just by viewing. But to some level, it will help motivate and even draw new interests.
Talking of uninterested media, I have an experience to share (more of a personal anger). We won the district tournaments last year. And so, our school eventually wanted it to be publicised. They contacted the daily newspapers. The information was published in which three names, on a random basis, were given as top scorers by the school, while the actual heroes were left out of the list. Neither the school nor the media cared.
There are other problems too like courts, coaches and others, but they don’t seem unfair enough to complain of.
So, that’s all from me.
I guess not everyone would agree to my views.
It’s not that these unfortunate events happen at one place or at one time. But sometimes and somewhere throughout the length and breadth of this country, they do.
I have seen it and I’ve experienced it.
I won’t say that the status of basketball isn’t ascending. But there are still a few flaws which need to be amended. And a few fouls which are not counted.
Now, this was my say. You are completely free to agree or disagree.